As I sit here updating this website, I am at a bar listening to people speak and converse and do what it is that social monkeys do: Talk. There is this idea that people who have lived in a foreign country use to describe how they feel when they “return home”. That term is “reverse culture shock.” I have been experiencing that for 7 months since having returned from Istanbul in December 2017.
This post has to do with one thing that one gentleman shouted emphatically at his friends.
The location is the Albatross bar in Berkeley, California. I am sitting at the long bar that overlooks the bar. The bay window is to my back. In front of me four friends are chatting, often loudly. It is Tueday night, it is there prerogative. At one point, one of the friends shouted Hello, Hello, Hello?! to drive his point home. -he felt he had made a great point!
Then I thought, “How would I say this in Turkish?”
The answer is” “Günaydın!” –good moring, in Turkish.
This made me remember that there is no predictability to who certain feelings or ideas are conveyed in a particular language. You just have to be there to learn it. Shouting “Mehaba” or “Selam” would make no sense in Turkish if you want to convey what the gentleman in the above scenerio wanted to convey.
There is a rhyme or reason why certain words and grammar are used to share certain feelings and ideas, but they are not guessable, they just make sense in as much as the choice of grammars and words is narrow, but to wide for a language learner to reliable guess at.
That is all.